The New Johari Window #23: Quadrant Two: Interpersonal Needs

The New Johari Window #23: Quadrant Two: Interpersonal Needs

Unfortunately, as in the case of those with a high reactive need for control, other people may infer many things about us if we remain silent. They might infer that we want them to take charge – and not tell us that this is their inference. An awkward (and frustrating) scenario may (and often does) play out: we want things to operate in a relaxed manner, while our colleague desperately tries to organize things, assuming that this is what we want.

They might instead infer that we are indifferent to them or to their project – hence don’t really even want to be involved in the relationship or group – and they might be right. Schutz suggests that relationships or groups in which control issues are never addressed or unsuccessfully addressed are often ones in which the initial issues of inclusion were also never successfully addressed. He suggests that we must return to the domain of inclusion and to the formation of the relationship or group. Once we get this right, we can move on to the domain of control and can confront the stage of storming in a successful manner.


There is a third interpersonal need that may be associated with the external focus and reactive strategy. Those with a strong need for openness and an external, reactive focus will formulate the fundamental issue this way: “How open do I want you to be?” There is a closely related question: “To what extent do I want to feel obligated to you and our relationship?” These questions are often associated with two other sentiments. First, “I want other people in this group to share their feelings, thoughts and reactions with me.” Second, “I fear group settings in which members remain quiet and are reticent to talk about what is really happening in the group.”

With specific regard to Quad Two, the fundamental questions get reframed: “How aware are you of my need for openness or my need for you to be open with me?” Conversely, if I have a low need for openness, the fundamental questions are: “How aware are you of my reluctance to be open with you or of my wish that you not be very open or disclosing with me?” What does it mean that other people see us as wanting openness, but that we are unaware of this need?


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About the Author

William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 50 books, and president of a psychology institute. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations.

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